While on the set of Zombieland, I had a chance to sit down and chat with writers/producers Paul Wenick and Rhett Reese in a round-table style interview. They talk about the television origins of the project, zombies in an amusement park, a meeting with John Carpenter, Horror comedies, Zombie rules, for the love of Twinkies, possible sequel or television series, the music of the film, writing the Venom spin-off movie for Marvel, Earth vs. Moon, improv on set, The Joe Schmo Show and writing action scenes. Read the full transcript after the jump.
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Trailers From Hell – Edgar Wright on Venom
The Pitch: Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright does a commentary for Piers Haggard’s 1981 horror film Venom in a Trailer From Hell.
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Sony is considering making a Spider-Man spin-off movie based on the popular villain Venom. The company had previously commissioned Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) to pen a take, but is now considering going in a completely different direction according to The Hollywood Reporter. They are seeking new writers for an entirely new draft, and are also supposedly looking at replacing Topher Grace, who played the role in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man 3. Sony is still hoping to release a fourth Spider-Man film in 2011. Raimi confirmed at Comic Con that he is still waiting to read the script. Basically, Sony is looking to squeeze as much out of their deal with Marvel as they can.
Comic Book movies are hot again, and Marvel’s option of the film rights to Spider-Man also give Sony the ability to to produce spin-off films based on the characters in that universe. I think hiring someone other than Topher for the role is a smart move. They really need to do everything they can to differentiate the spin-off from the lackluster third film. When I was younger, and had more time to read comics, Venom was one of my favorites. But never once did I actually buy an issue of the Venom spin-off series, because I never thought it would be that interesting. And my thoughts are virtually the same on a Venom spin-off film. Venom is one of those baddies who is only as interesting as his opponent. And I’m pretty sure this project would be Spidey-free.
Discuss: Do you think that a Venom movie is a good idea? or bad idea?
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A random news symbiote has infested the Nets today and, as Ned Ryerson would squeal, “it’s a doozy.” IESB reports that Marvel Studios is prepping a Venom spin-off and has already met with “several A-list writers.” Before you fire off the sirens to alert the strikers, you may recall that a bit ago Marvel cut a deal with the WGA. Apparently the superhero studio has retained the rights to the character, as he/it previously appeared last summer in Sony’s wobbly webbing cake that was Spider-Man 3, in the human form of Eddie Brock, played by actor Topher Grace. No word if Grace is still attached, and no word about Sam Raimi‘s involvement, but I’d guess he wouldn’t direct the flick as he has admitted in the past that Venom is not his type.
Obviously, this project comes as a surprise since Venom, when full-blown, is a villain with less social skills than a pet rock; and for many fanboys it’s a surprise as hotly anticipated as Critters Gone Wild, since Venom is cited as the largest flaw in Sam Raimi‘s second Spidey sequel. Personally, all of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies are as pleasurable to me as staring at the sun, though the second one has its moments. I just don’t dig their aesthetic and the “darkness”-arch and newfound maturity of the third one made the fourth Harry Potter look like Tropic of Cancer.
However, I’m not opposed to this film. Making a movie about an outer space ooze that turns a person into Spidey’s hulking Id is kinda chill. There is the potential to do a visually stunning and madcap movie with Venom, especially if Carnage is involved. Drop Grace for the sake of a fresh take, and hire, I dunno, a director-duo like Crank‘s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor or even the Hughes Brothers to think outside the box while gunning for profitability and it’s a winner.